Positive Change Meetup on Friendship And Values
Positive Change Meetup 7:30am SLT 09/21/2017. Today’s topic is friendship and wellbeing (voice and text). All are welcome!
"Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage." ~Doe Zantamata
The Positive Change Meetup is a discussion group about wellbeing scholarship, personal experience and enhancing positive psychological wellbeing and is not intended to treat mental illness.
Welcome: What went well lately and why?
Describe a time you had with a friend where you felt the two of you made a difference for others or when the friendship made you become more of the person you wanted to be?
Where do values come from? Wired into our physiology? Consciously learned or chosen? By using some sort of intuition that lets us grasp some aspect of the transcendent? Something else?
Friendship as a value that has the potential to integrate all other values.
"The maximum of mutual love is friendship." ~Immanuel Kant
What are the basic goods of life aside from meeting basic needs for personal survival?
Friendship (play, compassion)
Living one’s values.
Sociability -> Friendship
Play: games, bodily movement, humor, curiosity, creativity
Compassion: Alleviation of all avoidable suffering
I have been thinking about friendship. Does this seem like a plausible account of what could happen as friendships deepen?
You enjoy each other's company.
You can confide in each other.
You come to regard your friends wellbeing as essential to you own.
You have each other's back.
You become better together.
Your help each other live your dreams.
You do things together that make the world a better place.
Michael Slote, A Sentimentalist Theory of the Mind, Oxford University Press, 2014, 247pp.
Reviewed by Lauren Ashwell, Bates College
Loved children feels gratitude toward the adults who love them, and, Slote suggests, thereby starts to feel a diffuse kind of love and gratitude toward the world in general, which then motivates their moral behavior. Children learn to be empathetic when people who love them, and to whom they are grateful, teach them to see how their actions make others feel.
How Friends Become Closer
It’s hard to organize a busy life so that it has enough room for deep friendships, but there are a few strategies that may help.
JULIE BECK AUG 29, 2017
"Part of the genius of friendship is that people respect and encourage each other to make their life the best it can be. How do you do that in a way that respects the contingencies of each other’s lives while also trying to build in, if not a regular practice, the expectation that we’re going to see each other? It can be a challenging needle to thread."
Why Having a Best Friend Is Good for Your Health
By Crystal Ponti
Maybe you use “friend” to refer to a broad swath of people you enjoy hanging out with; maybe you reserve it for the few people you’d feel comfortable spilling your guts to.
According to one of the newest studies of the bunch, that last type of friendship may be one of the most valuable when it comes to your well-being: In a paper published last month in the journal Child Development, a team of researchers found that having a childhood best friend can play a significant role in a person’s mental health well into adulthood.
The study drew from a data set that tracked the mental health of 169 racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse adolescent participants at three points: age 15, age 16, and age 25. For the first two rounds, subjects also identified the person they considered to be their best friend, and the study authors interviewed both members of the duo (the label of “best friend” didn’t have to be mutual, the authors noted, and participants didn’t necessarily have to name the same person both years). By age 25, the researchers found, subjects who had had higher-quality close friendships as a teen —defined here as “high degree of attachment, intimate exchange, and support” — tended to have lower social anxiety, an increased sense of self-worth, and fewer symptoms of depression.
“We weren’t surprised that better adolescent close friendships turned out to be important, but we were surprised by just how important they turned out to be into adulthood,” says lead study author Rachel Narr, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia.
Importantly, it was quality, not quantity, that seemed to matter. In fact, teens who prioritized broader social networks over a few close friends actually had higher rates of social anxiety in young adulthood.
Positive Change Meetups: conversation about human flourishing in text and voice on Sundays at 8:30am SLT and Thursdays at 7:30am SLT.
The primary purpose of Positive Change Meetup is to increase psychological wellbeing. Positive Change Meetups are open to everyone. The mission of Positive Change is to translate wellbeing research into positive community experiences. Positivity Matters, the RL umbrella of Positive Change, hosts community-wide conversations, small-group conversations, and a radio show on wellbeing.
Whole Brain Health calendar: https://virtualinspirationisland.org/calwbh/
The How of Positive Change:
1. Use your strengths (free VIA inventory of strengths at www.viacharacter.org) as a guide to writing out a set of core values for yourself. Your core values are a foundation from which you can generate an infinite number of goals. Distinctions to consider: self-care values, bigger-than-self values, values that will help you soar when skies are blue, and values that will help you endure when skies are grey.
2. Rank your values* in importance to you to help you prioritize your goals.
3. Try evidence-base wellbeing practices (goals) that are aligned with your values.
4. Share about the experience of turning your values into virtues* at Positive Change Meetups.
5. Repeat steps 1-4.
*Example of core values ranked (Faust’s):
1. Treat yourself and others like you would a good friend.
2. Translate wellbeing research into positive community experiences.
3. Use your strengths to help others use their strengths to help others.
4. Apply your strengths where they will do the most good.
5. Don't let the good life get in the way of a better life.
6. Never stop becoming more excellent.
What are values and why do they matter?
"Values are not about what you want to get or achieve; they are about how you want to behave or act on an ongoing basis. Values give us direction and help us figure out what we want our lives to look like."
Why small-group conversation about wellbeing can help us flourish:
The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations
"Positive comments and conversations spur the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate and trust others by activating networks in our prefrontal cortex."
Talk Deeply, Be Happy?
“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” Dr. Mehl said. “And interpersonally, as you ﬁnd this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”
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